Caregiver sentenced to five years for manslaughter of 11-month-old infant

Caregiver sentenced to five years for manslaughter of 11-month-old infant

An has handed down a five-year prison sentence to Clara Yanyi-Ampah, a trained nurse, for manslaughter. Yanyi-Ampah was convicted for her involvement in the tragic death of an 11-month-old infant, which occurred in May 2021 at a school in Agbogba, near .

Initially pleading not guilty, Yanyi-Ampah later changed her plea to guilty after reaching a plea-bargaining agreement with the 's Office. The charge of , initially brought before the Adentan District Court in 2021, was subsequently reduced to manslaughter on the advice of the Attorney General.

The court heard from Senior State Attorney Mercy Arthur, who represented the prosecution, that a plea-bargaining process led to an agreement for a five-year prison sentence for the accused.

In delivering the sentence, Justice Marie-Louise Simmons considered the defendant's time spent in detention from her arrest in May 2021 until her release on bail, as well as her lack of prior criminal record and display of remorse. However, the court expressed disapproval of Yanyi-Ampah's conduct and attitude, citing “reckless disregard for human life.”

According to the prosecution's account, the deceased infant, enrolled in the school where Yanyi-Ampah worked as a caregiver, arrived at the facility in good health on May 8, 2021. However, an incident later that day involving Yanyi-Ampah's handling of the infant led to her death.

A teacher at the school discovered the baby unresponsive while Yanyi-Ampah was changing her clothing. Despite attempts to revive her, the infant was pronounced dead at the hospital. CCTV footage retrieved during the investigation showed Yanyi-Ampah feeding the baby before changing her clothes and indicated that she had forced food down the infant's throat.

The postmortem report revealed that the cause of death was “asphyxiation due to aspiration of food following forced feeding,” with the infant's airways and lungs obstructed by food.

The prosecution highlighted that Yanyi-Ampah had violated school guidelines by force-feeding the baby, which ultimately led to the tragic outcome.

With the conclusion of the trial, justice has been served for the grieving parents of the infant, whose untimely death was a result of the caregiver's negligence and disregard for safety protocols.

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